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CAPEX Q4 2017

GCC Energy Sector Landscape : 2017 - 2018

The energy market saw gradual optimism in 2017 as crude prices witnessed stabilization after OPEC and non-OPEC members worked towards production cuts. Meanwhile, the GCC saw stronger project activity in the energy sector too, with around USD 52.3bn worth of project award in 2017, compared to USD 37.8bn in 2016. This slightly healthier market led to numerous mergers & acquisitions too. Below is a roundup of the GCC energy sector activities country by country, and what we expect of 2018.

Saudi Arabia (KSA)

  • KSA placed a heavy focus on the upstream and gas processing sector, with the award of major projects - Aramco’s LTA program, and Haradh & Hawiyah gas development packages
  • In 2018, we expect KSA to place its focus on the upstream and power sector – both conventional and alternative


  • ADNOC re-organized itself by putting most of its subsidiaries under a single unified brand. Furthermore, the UAE witnessed several mega awards in the alternative energies and oil & gas sectors, including Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar IPP Phase 4, Sweihan IPP, Bab Field Development & Expansion and Fujairah Oil Storage Cavern
  • In 2018, the UAE will place heavy focus on the downstream sector, and will likely make progress on key projects such as Takreer’s GAP, Borouge’s Petrochemical complex and PP5 project


  • With numerous mega projects underway, Kuwait’s focus in 2017 was the execution of current projects. Additionally, given Kuwait’s focus on the downstream industry, KIPIC was established to manage refinery, petrochemicals & LNG import operations
  • Apart from executing current projects, Kuwait will likely focus on the petrochemicals and power sector in 2018


  • Oman saw key awards including Duqm Refinery packages (c.USD 5.7bn), Salalah LPG extraction & Ammonia plants. Moreover, the commencement of production from Khazzan Gas Field Phase 1 led to the award of Khazzan’s CPF 2. Additionally, Oman tendered 4 exploration blocks
  • In 2018, while Oman's focus will be the continued development of Duqm, it could also expect a rise in exploration activity due to its recently tendered blocks


  • As KSA, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt imposed a blockade on Qatar, the country faced numerous challenges in 2017. Moreover, Qatar did not see much energy activity in 2017
  • After removal of its self-declared moratorium, Qatar will focus on construction of new LNG trains and/or debottlenecking of existing trains to increase production by 20%. Thus, in 2018, engineering studies for such projects will likely gain momentum


  • The Kingdom witnessed the award of its much awaited Sitra Refinery Modernization Program (c.USD 4.2bn); this will take 49 months to complete
  • Bahrain’s key focus in 2018 will be the execution of current projects. Although Bapco’s Aromatics project is in the pipeline, funding challenges may delay the award

Though 2018 has a lot of activity in the pipeline, we believe progress is dependent on stable market conditions and each country’s ability to overcome funding challenges which exist in today’s market conditions. For more information, contact the VP of Business Advisory Services, Ann-Marie Carbery, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

-Shamlee Epari, Research Consultant
Contax Partners

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